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Muscle-bone interactions during fracture healing.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN.


Although it is generally accepted that the rate and strength of fracture healing is intimately linked to the integrity of surrounding soft tissues, the contribution of muscle has largely been viewed as a vascular supply for oxygen and nutrient exchange. However, more is becoming known about the cellular and paracrine contributions of muscle to the fracture healing process. Research has shown that muscle is capable of supplying osteoprogenitor cells in cases where the periosteum is insufficient, and the muscular osteoprogenitors possess similar osteogenic potential to those derived from the periosteum. Muscle's secrotome includes proteins capable of inhibiting or enhancing osteogenesis and myogenesis following musculoskeletal injury and can be garnered for therapeutic use in patients with traumatic musculoskeletal injuries. In this review, we will highlight the current knowledge on muscle-bone interaction in the context of fracture healing as well as concisely present the current models to study such interactions.

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